Sunday, October 23, 2011

Breeding Has Begun -- Farm Updates

Blossom and Treble were each bred to Toby on September 30 and October 1, respectively.  Next up are Sara, Marsanne, and Lily who will be bred as soon as they come into heat, which should be this coming week.  Sara and Marsanne are planned to be bred to Toby, but I'd like to breed Lily to Chaku.  He has gone down to Ruby Run for a few weeks, so I'll need to transport her down there, so we'll see if that is convenient to do when she comes in heat. 

I haven't decided yet what to do about my three youngest doelings.  I would like to breed them this year to kid in Spring 2012.  It looks like I'll be able to breed Amy, but Mellie is just looking too small, and Elise will probably be too young at the time I need to breed.  So, I just haven't decided about that yet...  As always, the most up-to-date information about that can be found on my website on the Kidding Schedule page.

The two large black pigs are growing very, very well.  We expect they will be slaughtered in December.   That's a really good thing, because I only have one package of pork chops left (and I've really been rationing them), one package of ribs (ditto on the rationing) and about a dozen packs of bacon.  I do have lots of ground pork left and a good bit of scrapple.  I guess we need to start having scrapple for snacks and stuff, and I need some more good low carb recipes for ground pork.  I make a really nice Italian Sausage that I saute with onions and peppers, and I make a really good meatloaf with half pork/half beef.    I recently made a pot of chili which called for three pounds of ground beef.  I substituted one pound of ground pork in the recipe for one of the pounds of ground beef and it turned out great.

The winter garden is planted.  Under the greenhouse we'll have carrots, onions, lettuce, cabbage, and spinach.  Outside the greenhouse I have cabbage planted, that I think went in too late, so we'll see if I actually get anything from those... 

I have lots of tomatoes frozen from the garden this year to put in soups and other recipes, and loads of carrots in the refrigerator.  I still have peppers from the Summer of 2010 in the freezer, so I'm good to go on that until next year.

I picked lots of Strawberries and Blueberries from U-Pick farms this year so all of those are in the freezer too. 

I've made quarts and quarts of yogurt, lots of chevre, ricotta salata, and mozzarella which is all in the freezer for the dark days ahead when there will be no milk...  AND there are quite a few wheels of cheddar, swiss, and tomme aging.   I'm still struggling with consistency on my hard cheeses.  Some of them are quite good, others, yuk!  I know that with the kind of operation I have, there will always be flubs, but I'd like to get to the point where the majority of my hard cheeses are good, with just an occasional bad one, as opposed to the other way around.  LOL.